Have Your Say

19th November 2021

An ‘Orts Pot’ of Thoughts

Some people might see an orts pot (the container in which you put your thread ends, off cuts and bits and pieces) as little more than a glorified bin. However, most of us look at the orts pot, filled with the ‘old raggedy threads’ that the name implies, and see a mixed pile of memories, successes, unpicking and ideas.

That analogy perfectly describes Have Your Say this week, as it is a lovely mix of thoughts, questions and ponderings.

Bridget O’Brien from Canada thanked everyone for the book recommendations that have been submitted over the past weeks. She loves finding books that are relevant to her stitching passion and agreed with so many others about the title ‘The Coat Route’. Bridget also wanted to recommend a book called ‘The Gown’ by Canadian author Jennifer Robson, which also deals with the theme of historical clothing and textiles. If anyone has read it, we’d love to hear what you think.

Both Hazel Long and Elaine Ransom wrote in about our editorial on keeping a ‘have done’ list. Hazel told us that for the past 30 years she’s been taking pictures of completed projects and keeping them in a special diary. However, that doesn’t mean she always finishes things! She’s been working on a needlepoint carpet for almost the same amount of time and it is still incomplete. Luckily, her granddaughter has already offered to finish it for her.

Elaine started a ‘have done’ list a while ago after accidentally making the same gift for the same person!

Since then, she’s always kept a record of what she’s made, the origin of the design and who it was gifted to so she doesn’t make the same mistake again. This also allows her to look back over her work and realise just how much she has accomplished. Perhaps this is something we should all do a little more often in order to practice gratitude for just how far we’ve come.

Sharlene’s brightly coloured wrapped hoops

Sharlene Jones-Martin shared a brainwave with us. She had a whole lot of cheap hoops that she’d bought at a bargain price but were a bit boring to look at. As she was thinking of ways to dress them up, she came across her grandfather’s old fishing rod nylon. It had been sitting there for 40 years, but now has brightened up the hoops like a treat! What a creative idea…

Jackie Williams was musing on the idea of sharing. Now that she lives on her own, she’s realised her family, wonderful as they are, are not really interested in her needlework unless it has something to do with mending. Although Jackie used to help with a needlework class when she was working, nowadays the scope for bouncing ideas around doesn’t seem to be there. So, she loves that she can share ideas here in All Stitched Up! It is a part of what the community is all about.

With the release of our fabulous new book, The Design Collective | Pincushions, Ann wrote to tell us that she thinks all the projects are fantastic, but she just couldn’t imagine using any of them for pins. She would be too afraid that they might end up getting damaged. The one pincushion in the book she could conceivably use, she says, would be Betsy Morgan’s Bargello and Blackwork pincushion but even then, she’d be cautious. We understand, Ann. Fortunately, all of the projects in the book make beautiful objects unto themselves, so even if you don’t use them for their intended purpose, they are still very much worth making.

Susan’s forays into Dorset Buttons

Susan Bottcher thanked us for the Dorset button project we featured in All Stitched Up! issue #299. She saw it and was inspired to give Dorset buttons a try. It didn’t take long before a new enthusiasm had formed to help her with lockdown blues!

A while back we talked about going on a ‘colour walk’ and Kathleen Weston was inspired to head out and look for various colours outside that she could relate to DMC thread numbers. As she was hunting, she remembered that each of the hymns they sing in church is numbered. She has fun looking at the numbers and trying to guess which DMC colours they are. When she gets home, she has to check to see how close she is!

Finally, Ruth Tracy asked whether anyone had ideas on how to use vintage crochet work. She says that it is so beautiful and that its creation would have required hours of work, so it seems such a shame that it really isn’t used much anymore. She’s seen doilies incorporated into quilts but wondered whether anyone else had creative ideas as to how this wonderful work can be reused.

We’ve really enjoyed hearing from you all over the past few weeks and we encourage everyone to keep writing in. You will have noticed that each week we’ve had another jam-packed Have Your Say article to share with you. That’s because we get so many wonderful emails, we just can’t keep them to ourselves. Keep them coming – it brightens up our inbox each and every morning.

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